With hate crimes and acts of intimidation escalating - all, of course with no denunciation of such conduct from Donald trump or Mike Pence - one can certainly feel overwhelmed, especially if one falls within one of the favored targets of Trump's frightening base of Christofascists and white supremacists. But that doesn't mean that we can crawl into a fetal position and try to deny the reality that something terrible has happened to America. Rather, if one is a true American patriot, it is now time to step up resistance and do all possible to stop the parade of horribles that Trump and the Congressional Republicans have planned for the nation. A column in the New York Times underscores the need to rally and resist non-stop. Here are highlights:
This is a very dangerous man, our next president. Dangerous in his certitude about what he doesn’t know. Dangerous in his ignorance of history, his antipathy toward reading, his inability to sort fact from fiction. The last man to play things by the gut while in control of the world’s most powerful military left a mortal mess.But welcome, for now, President-elect Donald Trump. It feels, in much of the nation, like the death of a loved one — the sudden, unexpected kind. I haven’t felt this way since the nuns told our second-grade class that John F. Kennedy had been assassinated. Still, grief is an emotion that has little power in politics.
A majority — well, not from the popular vote, which Hillary Clinton won — chose radical change over reasoned predictability. They’re going to get plenty of change, much of it chaotic and cruel. Those who think Trump can be contained, or trained by seasoned K Street hacks to act reasonable, are deluding themselves. He’ll do it his way.
The Republicans will control everything, including the Supreme Court. Washington is theirs, with minimal checks and balances. And if the forgotten, the undereducated, the Rust Belt survivors think they are going to see a renaissance of their communities, consider this headline from Yahoo Finance on the day after the election: “Trump win is a ‘grand slam’ for Wall Street Bankers.” He will not betray his class.
But resistance is not futile. Within the durable strength of the Constitution are many options — peaceful, legal, effective countermoves, not the burn-it-all down schemes of the Trumpsters, had Clinton won. One question is existential: Can the world survive the 45th American president?
When he looks the other way while Russia takes a small country, we can remind him that the United States signed a treaty with war-broken European allies that cannot be dismissed by fiat. When he orders the generals to torture suspects, kill family members of suspected terrorists, they can cite Geneva Conventions — something the generals know much more about than Trump.
When Trump takes away people’s health care, when he tries to reinstate a system that was not, in fact, fabulous for those with pre-existing conditions, he will find a constituency of people who are one medical bill from bankruptcy. They will have to shout to be heard above the lobbyists, but they won’t go away quietly.
When Trump tries to ignore the provisions of a global accord to curb climate change, and charts a path for the United States as a rogue nation, the resistance will come from the millions of young Americans who found a voice in old Bernie Sanders. They will be similarly roused when he attempts to let the despoilers have their way on public land. Millennials will learn the hard way that failure to turn out in sufficient numbers at election time could cost their children a habitable planet.
The strongest resistance should come from the white working class; they will soon find out that Trump will treat them the same way he treated the suckers who signed up for his fraudulent university. When steel mills fail to return to Youngstown, or when new trade deals produce no more magic than the old ones, these economic exiles will wonder how they got betrayed. Look to the euphoria of soon-to-be deregulated Wall Street bankers for your explanation.
Finally, all of us in the American family should never trust anyone from the pollster industrial complex, including those at my own newspaper.